Space theme day.

    Here’s the second run down one of our ‘themed days’ – Space. Based around my eldest sons favourite theme, we had great fun all day. For those not aware or who are visiting my site for the first time – My boys love our theme days, begging me to do them every holiday. It is a fun way to filled a ‘holiday day’ cheaply and means you can relieve childhood boredom of staying at home if needed.

  For our  Space day we started by creating space alien pencil pots created out of a recycled baked bean tin and an old sun reflector which was heading to the bin – I will be  posting ‘how to’ to my project section.IMG_0903

   We followed this with some not so space theme ‘train’ picture watercolour painting (sons choice – another like) – I printed two free train colouring pages of the web which the boys then painted with watercolours. The pictures looking very effective and colourful.

We followed this with a lunch based on our themed – Space rocket sandwiches made by the boys with cheese for the windows and space raider crisps.

 After lunch we created our own spotted space pictures out of stickers.

We then watched a space themed Dvd.

Finishing  our day with pizza planets and ice lolly rockets for dinner. Plus of course reading ‘Space theme books’  and some stargazing before we went to bed.

emmas xxx

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Camp fires and sock puppets.

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After a lot of begging over the last few months from our boys it led us to this week-end activity. Weather no longer an excuse : we created our own simple and very affordable fire pit in our garden. We built it out of some old bricks, used some old branches, sticks and wood found in our garden and had great fun cooking our dinner on it. We have also created our own sock puppets. A simple fun project using some old socks, which would have been heading to the bin. We created a cute penguin and a bunny (though he looks more like a dog, but don’t tell my son that!). I feel we will be creating a theatre for them soon for the performances planned, watch this space.

You will find both in my project section, if your interested in giving them ago! Have a great week.

Please feel free to leave comment, like, share and follow.

Love emmas xxx

Sorry its been a while.

Sorry its been a while. Life has been busy and I am afraid I have been concentrating on other things happening in my life. I am afraid the website has been temporarily at the bottom of the list.

I do really enjoy writing my blogs and putting the projects on my project page. However I aim to only write when I am fully focussed and not to just tick a box to say I have done it. If you know what I mean. Hopefully, it means I wont just bore you with waffle.  

The boys have been busy back at school, leading to early nights as they have been shattered. There has been lots of playing with cars and vehicles. Take a look at the project section to see Balloon powered Lego vehicles added tonight. This was a surprising and very enjoyable project, the boys and me had lots of fun doing. I highly recommended it you have a child who is Lego mad!

emmas xxx

Not just arts and crafts!

Hi with the rain come back to haunt us and Scarlett fever! We have been stuck in doors! Both boys are really into science at the moment

Curious minds! 

So to pass the time we have been revisiting some of our old favourite science experiments and some new. The boys are really curious about volcanos at the moment as they have been studying dinosaurs at school last term. So this project was by far the most exciting. They also loved the t-shirts and colour exploring. These have been added to the project section – Please take a look if you have a child with a curious mind. The aim of my website is all things ‘creative’ some of the topics to be covered in the long-term plan will be simple and affordable Arts and crafts, cooking, science, exploring play and anything else creative. with kids. More science coming along with junk modelling.

Feel free to comment, like, share and follow.

emmas xxx

yeah the sun is shining at long last!

Well here we are a few days in to the school Easter holidays. What started as wet meant we have been having fun trying to chill with endless playing- car racetracks building, indoor sleepovers in a tent, marble runs, dvds, reading, the house being taken over by star troupers dress up yesterday on a mission to save the world from a superhero, colouring and junk modelling (more to come on that soon). What started as a wet cold not hopeful week keeping us in doors has now Finally changed for the better. What a difference it makes when the sun is shining! We have managed to get in to the garden today and enjoyed the blue sky playing tennis, badminton and football. We also managed to do some planting ready for the long awaited summer- My hopes of weeding pushed it a little bit to far, oh well- might as well play instead, ‘enjoy the small moments’!. Ever hopeful that the sun will remain shining – I have posted a few projects we have done in the past for the garden. In case you are looking for ideas over the break ( you know the drill – take a look in the project section, like, comment and share).

Enjoy!IMG_0353IMG_0355 emmasxxx

Keeping with the theme Simple and affordable – Body tracing.

IMG_0081    Hi, firstly sorry if you have just been slightly confused (so have I!) by the last project posted and this blog. I have been having a few technical faults – I will lay all blame with the Computer doing its own thing. Hopefully all is fixed now and is fully readable!

‘Don’t you just love them moments when you think wow that five-minute job was quick and easy – to only realise it hasn’t gone to plan instead five minutes turns into an hour’.IMG_0085

Essentially my blog today is just to let you know I have put another project idea in the project section. Sorry really wasn’t sure what to call this one. ‘Body tracing’  was the best I could do. This is very simple and affordable to make as it is easy and pretty much free to make as the basic materials can be found in your home. A good project for younger children. You could if you choose to, use it to talk / teach them about their bodies and body parts. For us it was just a fun project. We have done this project many times before and the ‘bodies’ end up on our boys bedroom door each time. The last ones needed updating as they had seen better days – there is only so many times you can repair them!  Christopher chose to turn himself into a space man and Louie became a superhero.

Please take a look at the project section. Don’t forget to like, comment, share and follow please. Thank you!

emmas xxx

 

Milk Bottle boat to make and play with.

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A quick blog as my children have shared their present ‘luggie’ with me. This week’s project was a very unplanned and a impromptu one. It was very much ‘make it up as you go along’ with what we could find in the house. My youngest son was of school sick most of the week with ‘tonsillitis’, so apart from lots of cuddles and watching ‘pj masks’ on the Telly at the beginning. When he began to feel better he decided he wanted to make a ‘toy boat’ (As mentioned before his two big loves our boats and superhero’s). His favourite book on his book shelf inspired the idea in his head. Result one’ Milk bottle boat’, sorry couldn’t come up with a more creative name – it is what it is! This boat was very simple and affordable to make as it was fairly easy and pretty much free to make as the basic materials were found in our recycle bin. It then gave us a good excuse to have a bath as we needed to test it out after making it, this created lots of fun playing – even some teddies had a ride (they are still drying in the airing cupboard). If you wish to make one but don’t fancy it in your bath you could play with it in a paddling pool in the garden instead if you rather or this could be perfect for a summer day activity. Take a look in the project section for ‘how to make’.

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emmas xxx

 

 

Ideas for displaying children’s art and craft work.

Displaying creative projects

– Ideas for displaying children’s art and craft work.

   We are all guilty of Now what am I going to do with this…. I don’t need it cluttering my house up. My particular personal hate is endless junk modelling or projects which involved a lot of glitter, sequins and pom- poms despite encouraging and allowing my children to make things out of them and loving watching what they make with it. A day after they have made it, I want it gone and they soon can easily find their way to the recycle bin with only the best being held on to. As a general rule in our house we do try to make projects I don’t mind having on display (though they do make plenty of the random kind). In their eyes it all looks good – even that randomly painted cereal box, that unbeknown to you is a super flying aeroplane. However as a mother let’s be honest here I only want the ones that makes my house look good, not clutter and a mess.

As I have mention in earlier blogs our house often resembles a children Art gallery and I do really love having my children’s Arts and crafts on display. Apart from genuine enjoying what my children create I believe it is important to remember children do feel proud and special if you enjoy their art work and show it off. In our house on a very regular basis the boys do make lots I don’t want to part with and I can never see myself at this moment in time ever getting rid of. I guess I hope when I put their work on display I am telling them so much unknowingly without words “mummy loves my art – I’m good at this”. Hopefully in turn they will become proud of their own accomplishments leading them to gain confidence in their abilities and good strong self-esteem. As a result they enjoy doing it and will want to do more to please.

Though we have arts/craft dotted all around our house at any given time that we have created and I personally love it, at times it gets too much, so we have created particular areas for different things.

So here are a few ideas I have done, to display/ store their masterpieces for their sake and mine:

Home art gallery – A kitchen wall/pin board for your child’s 2D artwork, drawings, collages and paintings. (The Kitchen door/cupboards in our house our for more personal extra special work created for mum by the boys).

Individual personal Art wall/ Gallery We also alongside the kitchen door use the boys bedroom doors as Individual personal Art wall for their favourite pictures or the most up to date.

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Frame your favourite drawing and put on display as a forever treasured keepsake I have Framed two (one for each boy) of my favourite extra special picture they did for me, each of these pictures were/are extra special and tell an individual personal story of a time, place, memory to me and the individual child. A treasured forever Keepsake.DSC_0485.JPG

Individual yearly Scrap book for all the endless drawings/paintings – The pictures that ‘I can’t bear to throw out and at the moment I want to hold on to!‘ or need to be moved from the doors to create new space. For each entry I stick it in the book – making sure it has a small description, date and name. As my memory might not always been there in years to come – I have already lost track how many scrapbooks we have in the boys individual keepsake box in the loft.

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A craft shelf– We have one ever changing shelf on our stairway for the best 3D craft models (the others live in the boy bedrooms).

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Re- gift – Re use pictures as wrapping paper (see projects for ideas), turn into birthday cards, pictures in frames or turn into gifts for family and friends.

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It sounds like it could be a lot of work, It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you set your mind to it and find a little time to organise yourself. I actively involve the boys in this activity, Once set up it is easy to just add to and create your own child’s Art Gallery.

emmas xxx

 

How to up-cycle a paper bag !

   Yes, I know the title sounds a little crazy. However we did just this last week-end. A very impromptu project arising after the boys seeing father Christmas out and about. The boys were given some presents by Father Christmas in a paper bag with his picture on. After the boys had rehomed the gifts at home we were just about to throw the bag, when in our usual style we said…
” we can make something out of this! “
   So after scratching our heads we decided to cut out the picture of father Christmas and turn it into a ‘please stop here Santa ” door hanger for their bedrooms. It was a very easy, make it up as you go along mixed media / collage project led by the boys. Using whatever we could find in the house. They wanted white tissue paper now! Mummy couldn’t deliver on a Sunday night, so we found a clean toilet roll fixed the problem. Please take a look at the finish products in my Projects section and give it a go. The boys really enjoyed it – but beware the glitter goes everywhere. We now have a house with “Christmas sparkle”.
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Enjoy!
Love Emma’s xxx

Emma Shipway

The Value of creative family time.
   Family time spent together is so valuable and important to create memories,  fun times and family bonding. In today’s busy family and school lives so much emphasis is placed on education. The value  of academic subjects, Languages, after-school clubs and sports are often seen as so important for our children future. Arts and crafts are encouraged in the early foundation years at school and then pushed aside for maths, English, handwriting, reading, sports, science etc. It is then only a few children who are given the opportunity to be creative in their home or gain experiences outside of school. Don’t get me wrong I think academic subjects are very important, however I feel letting our children be creative with arts and crafts is equally just as important. A child’s Education stretches far beyond the classroom. It extends into their outside of school environment where they live and should get the chance to play.
   Some see arts as just fun frills, an un-useful waste of time, However I strongly believe it is and should be viewed as a central piece in the education puzzle. It can play a central and important role in learning and development. Whilst I fully appreciate there is little time in the school day for educators to allow for creative time it is left to us as parents. We can encourage within the home, providing our time along side materials and space to be creative. Art based activities at home can develop artistic learning which can encourage children to think in a more challenging and creative manner than other subjects may let them, especially if your child struggles with the concepts of maths and English. Activities Art and craft based can create the opportunity for families to stay connected whilst having fun together as children and teens are naturally creative in nature. This can lead to great family bonding time. Shared time can encourage and give your child the opportunity  to be successful and build a positive self-concept, be more excited about learning, more motivated and more willing to participate in activities at home and school. This can be very important for there well-being especially if they are struggling academically in school.
   Creative art activities can help children in all areas of development:
    Social development – when you spend time with your child they learn to share, interact with others,to be responsible for clean up and to put materials away. This all has a positive and important effect on social learning.
    Physical development – using crayons, felt-tips and paintbrushes help children practise their fine motor skills which support children’s large and small muscles development as well as their eye-hand coordination. This in turn will help them with the fine motor skills they need for writing.
    Cognitive development – Art based activities can assist with cognitive development as young children can learn the names of colour and shapes. They find out what happens when they mix primary colours together to get a secondary colour. This helps them to develop observation skills needed for science. Art teaches children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer. It can also teach that small differences can have large effect. Arts can engage a child’s brain including helping them with the skills needed for decision-making, action planning, physical movement and their memory. The attention to detail is a critical component in reading skills too. Are you beginning to see the links where one skill leads to another?
   Imagination and experimentation – children’s active imaginations can take shape through their art. Fostering creativity in childhood gives us the tools as adults to find new ways to look at things. Through active experimentation they can learn skills that can help them invent something new when they grow up.
   Emotional development – Whilst creating masterpieces children are given the chance to try out problem solving and thinking skills it helps your child or yourself to find new ways of looking at things. Times spent together creating can allow them to take risks without failure whilst learning from mistakes. It provides the opportunity to help make sense of the world around them and allows for them to express their feelings. In turn they may be able to represent experiences that they cannot verbalise ‘learn to say – what cannot be said’. Learn to adapt and overcome problems faced along the way. When we value our children’s creativity we help them feel valued as people raising their self-esteem. They can gain confidence in their own ideas whilst respecting others. The skills to think in and out of the box whilst solving complex problems.
   So to summarize in order to be creative a person really needs to let go of the need to be ‘perfect’ or ‘right’. Art based activities allows us to be willing to try new things, express ideas and explore the world around us. Art based activities such as experimenting with texture, space and colours in a piece of art helps children improve their co-ordination, fine motor skills and their critical thinking ability which in turn boosts their self-confidence, esteem and can provides them with the tools they need to communicate effectively.